Hollywood Testing: I Hates It

I guess I shouldn’t since it’s all designed to figure out what people like, which is ultimately what we’re in the business to do, but still, it bothers me that a small group of people have the clout to say, change the story arc for a character or if a show works at all. Sigh.

“Fox has hired online crowdsourcing firm Passenger to build an online community of viewers around Fox shows to help executives make more informed programming and marketing decisions. Passenger will help the network test programming concepts, plot direction, character evolution and marketing schemes by empowering a group of dedicated users to chime in during the development process. Passenger is one of a few cutting edge firms entertainment studios are working with to the help ping the crowd before committing millions of dollars to production and marketing budgets, (a trend I will be exploring in a panel on crowdsourcing at the NATPE LATV Festival next month.) They also recently worked with Damon Lindelof and Carton Cuse, the showrunners of ABC’s Lost, to help determine which episode to submit to Emmy voters this year, (not an easy task for a serialized show.) The first order of business for Fox community members will be to offer feedback on Fox’s fall line up. “

Source: Cynopsis

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No Responses to “Hollywood Testing: I Hates It”

  1. Rebecca says:

    As someone who works in this industry, I definitely see the positives and negatives around this type of research.  Be aware, FOX is not the only one using Passenger.  To my knowledge, ABC is as well and I’m sure most major studios.  The fakeness of the focus group being replaced with a more viral, larger, more diverse community only has upsides in my opinion.  There will be more room for disagreement, variety of opinion, etc.  It’s a much better tool than before.  Now, is it the final and most perfect solution? Not a chance, but we in the industry will keep trying to balance a way to fairly represent the impact of creative on the collective conscious in a way that still supports and upholds the unique, unexpected and risky.

  2. Eros Welker says:

    I guess why I’m not too fond of this kind of research is that it’s intentions seem ultimately towards creating a more marketable product, and not necessarily a better narrative product.  I agree with you that a community is infinitely better than a focus group, but still think there’s way too much democracy afloat in the creative process.

    Hold the line!!